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Full text of "Museum of Fine Arts, Boston : report on plans presented to the Building Committee"









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':^^.^'J^2:i^- FINE ARTSDil»T 




MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, 

BOSTON. 



REPORT 

ON 

PLANS PRESENTED TO THE 

BUILDING COMMITTEE. 



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1905. 


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FINE ARTS DEPT 






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INDEX. 



Part I. 

THE IDEALS GOVERNING THE PLAN. 
ITS GENERAL ARRANGEMENT. 

INTRODUCTION. Page 7 

I. THE IDEALS. II 

(A) The One Story Ideal. 11 

(B) The Separate Department Ideal. 11 

(C) The Principle of Selected Exhibits. 13 

1. Its Object. 13 

2. Subdivision of each Department. 14 

3. Installation. 16 

4. Proportion and scale. 18 

(D) Summary of the three Ideals. 19 

(E) Connection between the Departments. 19 

II. THE DEPARTMENTS. 20 

(A) Department of Japanese and Chinese Art. 20 

(B) The Paintings, Graphic Arts, and the Library. 21 

(C) Department of Classical Art. 23 

(D) Department of Egyptian Art. 24 

(E) Western Art. 25 

(F) Casts. 25 

III. REPETITION OF IDEALS. 26 



INDEX, (cont.) 



Part II. 

DETAILED CONSIDERATIONS. 

I. GROUNDS, COURTS AND APPROACHES. Page 28 

(A) Grounds and Courts. 28 

1 . Park lyines. 28 

2. Gardens and Setbacks. 30 

3. Inner Court Yards. 31 

4. Covered Courts. 31 

(B) Entrances and Grades. 31 

II. GKNKRAI, ARRANGKMENT OF THE PLAN. 35 

(A) Corridor System. ' 3^ 

(B) Position of Exhibition Departments. 37 

(C) The Administration and Educational Group. 38 

III. THE EXHIBITION GROUP. 40 



(A) 


Paintings. 


40 




I. 


Method of Calculating Hanging Capacity. 


40 




2. 


Division between Top and Side-lit Galleries. 


42 




3- 


Top-lit Galleries. 


45 




4. 


Side-lit Galleries. 


47 




5. 


The Circuits. 


48 




6. 


Hanging Capacity. 


50 




7- 


Installation, Colours, etc. 


50 




8. 


Temperature. 


51 


(B) 


Library. 


51 


(C) 


Prints. 


51 


(D) 


Water Colours. 


53 


(E) 


Department of Classical Antiquities. 


53 




I. 


General Arrangement. 


53 




2, 


Accommodation. 


55 




3- 


Installation. 


55 



INDEX, (cont.) 



(F) The Department of Japanese and Chinese 

Art. Page 57 

1. The Store. 57 

2. The Circuits. 58 

3. Dimensions and I^ighting. 58 

4. Curators* Rooms. 60 

5. Exemplification of the Ideals. 61 

(G) The Department of Egyptian Art. 62 

(H) The Department of Western Art. 63 

(I) The Collection of Casts. 64 

(J) An Unassigned Department. 64 



IV. THE ADMINISTRATION AND EDUCATIONAI, 

GROUP. 65 

(A) Administration. 65 

1. Offices. 65 

2. Service. 67 

(B) Power and Heat. 68 

(C) I^ecture and Exhibition Halls. 68 

(D) School. 68 

( E ) Restaurant . 69 

V. NOTE ON THE COMPI^ETE PI.ANS AS 

PRESENTED. 70 

VI. NOTE ON THE EI.EVATIONS. 71 



PART I. 



THE IDEAI.S GOVERNING THE PI.AN. 
ITS GENERAL ARRANGEMENT. 



INTRODUCTION. 

In the early stages of the study of the museum problem, as 
soon as the reports of the authorities had been received, it be- 
came clear that if each department was to be installed in the 
best way, each must have the opportunity for variety of light, 
side-light of various aspedls, and top-light. 

The accepted types of Museums presuppose two stories at least; 
the lower necessarily side-lit. If the plan is a mere block, its 
width is limited to double the width of a room that can be 
adequately lit from one side only. If the building surrounds a 
court, or courts, and is the width of two galleries, some rooms 
on the lower floor must depend on the light from the court. 

The first plan does not lend itself to the installation of a num- 
ber of distindl departments. The second plan requires very 
large courts to insure good light for the rooms on the court 
yard. Even then the rooms near the angles (A - A) (Fig. i) 
are injured by refledled light from adjacent walls, and the inter- 
nal angle itself (B) is inadequately lighted. A court of sufiicient 
size to give even the best space (C C) good light means an 
extravagant plan without compensating advantages, for rooms 
A & B cannot be improved however large the court, and the few 
rooms that are helped are a disproportionate part of the whole. 




Fig. 1. 



Kven before going abroad it had been decided that a building 
very largely of but one story would give the choice of method 
of light which seemed so imperative, and would not necessarily 
be extravagant as compared with a two story scheme because 
the ground could be more fully occupied, inner spaces being 
easily top-lit. 

Furthermore it had appeared evident that the departments 
should be as completely isolated as was compatible with a con- 
sistent whole, and that closely connedled units were preferable 
to a group of buildings separated except for the necessary corri- 
dor connedlions for the public, the service and the engineering. 
For each department it seemed that either the two unit block, 
giving fairly well lit basement rooms (Fig. 2) or the courtyard 
block, where but a single row of rooms surrounded the central 
space, offered the best type of plan (Fig. 3). This latter was 
pradlically a square block, the whole area of which was available 
on one floor for exhibition purposes. 



1 1 
,11, 




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Fig. 2. 

Fig. 3. 
The problem then resolved itself into a question as to liow the 
various departments could be disposed on the lot without injury 
to each other. The outer perimeter of the group would be free 
light in any case, and it was therefore a problem of putting on 
the outside perimeter as many rooms of each department as 
possible. The! corners of the group would then naturally take 
some such form as this (Fig. 4). 



:;\ 



V: 



Fig. 4. 
8 



Such was the first step towards a solution of the more general 
problem. The study of the special requirements of the depart- 
ments then followed. 

Until after the trip abroad I may frankly say that I had very 
little personal convi(5lion as to v/hat was or was not desirable. I 
accepted the data of the authorities and worked to meet the 
requirements thus outlined. If there were contradi(5lions, I had 
no information or knowledge that would enable me either to 
reconcile them, or judge between them, unless they were matters 
which fell within the ordinary lines of architedlure. 

But the knowledge necessary to help me to judge, or at least 
to have an opinion and know why I held it, I was acquiring day 
by day by means of the extraordinary opportunities which were 
given me to work with the museum authorities. I had at my 
disposal the accumulated knov/ledge of all the experts in the 
service of the museum, and the advice and help of the commit- 
tees, and when to this was added the exceptional advantage of 
studying foreign museums with every facility that the influence 
or the Director and the President could give, it will be readily 
seen that my opinion in regard to many matters of which I had 
been wholly ignorant would necessarily crystalize and become 
clear and definite. 

I want to try to explain what ideals seem to me to be within 
our reach and incidentally to touch on certain reasons for my 
feeling that some ideals are visionary only. 

If at times I seem to speak with certitude about subjects which 
seem to you to lie outside of my province, I will ask you to bear 
in mind that an archite(5l who enters thoroughly and with his 
whole interest into the planning of a building is forced by the 
necessities of study, which one not an archite(?t can hardly 
understand, to go to the root of things-to accept nothing blindly- 
to let his building grow in definite and clearly understood 
response to its needs, to its purposes, to its uses. I look upon 
the departments of our museum as so many members of an 
interesting family, to house whom rightly, I must first know. 
How little I really do know them probably no-one feels more 
keenly than I do, but what force my suggestions may carry wdth 
you is due entirely to what little I have learned. This little has 
sunk in and become a part of me and where I speak with con- 
viction or with certainty it is because I feel strongly; where I 



speak doubtingly it is because I feel so keenly how much more 
there is to learn. 

The cooperation of the authorities with the architedls has, in 
this work, been almost ideal, and in great contrast to what 
we heard of the conditions under which many of the foreign 
museums have been built. Notwithstanding this however I 
have during these two years constantly found myself brought 
up against an impalpable barrier; one says, "oh, but that is a 
question of installation" intimating if not actually adding ''and 
therefore out of your province." Another "that is a question of 
colour"; and only when I can show that the colour effedls the 
question of admission of light, and therefore of an opening in 
wall or ceiling, is it considered pertinent. 

But this is not the whole of it. The architect should at least 
know and really understand the difference between a well and 
ill hung pidlure gallery, if he is to design well a gallery in which 
pi(?tures are to be hung. They are for him the walls of the 
room, even more, they are the raison d'etre of the room, and are 
as intimate a part of it and as necessary to the study of the room 
as are the number, size and arrangement of the panels in a 
panelled room. These considerations run through every depart- 
ment and extend to every detail, and one can never tell what 
kind of information or knowledge may prove to be important in 
enabling one to reach a true conclusion. I feel like taking this 
opportunity of apologizing for having so often taken the position 
of the sceptic, and desired proof, and for wishing to know things 
which did not appear to be my business, but one never can tell 
when to trust and it's safer never to do so, and one never can 
tell what especial knowledge may be of use and it's safer to 
acquire all you can. 



lO 



THE IDEALS. 

I am going to try to outline some of the ideals which have 
governed the plan, and which, even if not realized, are yet recog- 
nizable in what will be submitted. 



The One Story Ideal. 

The whole tendency of the studies has been in the direcflion 
of concentrating the exhibitions on one main floor, and everyone 
I believe greeted with joy the idea of a museum where weary 
mounting of stairs was to be wholly, or to a large extent, elimi- 
nated. The one story scheme was the first fixed element of the 
ideal towards which we were aiming. How this has been carried 
out and modified I will explain later. 

If the one story scheme seemed attractive within, it seemed 
equally attradlive to think that we could thus so readily present 
to the public an easy, dire(?t and simple access to our exhibition 
floor. An approach through a garden, making the set-back 
from a busy thoroughfare that is so desirable, and leading by 
easy steps to the front door, seemed in many ways to be reason- 
ably near the ideal and seemed the logical outcome of the corner 
treatment (Fig. 4). It is because this is a museum for the 
people that I do not believe we should be justified in getting the 
greater privacy, and possibly greater dignity, of an entrance on 
the Park, either from the east or the north, at the sacrifice of 
ready accessibility. 

The Separate Department Ideal. 

With the one story plan as the first governing fa(5lor, the sepa- 
ration of the departments was the next most important consider- 
ation; and this had to be considered in connedlion with main 
lines of thoroughfare, and the relation of the various departments 
to each other. There are six principal departments; Paintings, 
Classical Art, Egyptian Art, Japanese Art, the miscellaneous 
group referred to as Western Art, and the Casts. It was evident 
that ideall}^ one would v/ish to have as many of the departments 
as possible near the entrance lobby. Two could occupy the 
flanking positions east and west. The outlook over the Park to 



II 



the nortli seemed to suggest that at least one department should 
occupy this position. A great deal of study was done on the 
question of the connecfting link and whether or not it was desir- 
able to put a department on this line and thus get a third 
department off the front lobby, but it was finally decided that 
this thoroughfare should be clear and that two other departments 
should. give ofi east and west from its central link (Fig. 5). 




Fig. 5. 

This arrangement gives four departments with the maximum 
of outside perimeter and one department, an oblong block some- 
what raised above the other blocks so that the light on its 
southern wall is free. 

I may mention here the disposition of the departments in these 
five positions; some of these might be changed without influenc- 
ing the general scheme, and some could not. Japan flanks the 
entrance on the east. The Paintings and all the Graphic Arts 
including the I^ibrary, occupy the Park side on the north. A 
slightly greater elevation could be given to this block as it is 
at the north and will not therefore cast shadows on any other 
portion, and thus, while still retaining the sense of the pictures 
being on the first or main floor, will yet give adequate height 
below. This lower floor as you will see later, is assigned to the 
library, photographs and prints. Classical Antiquities are placed 
off the central link extending to the east. Western Art, com- 
prising the various miscellaneous collections and textiles and 



12 



ceramics, is given the block balancing Japan on the front and 
Egypt is assigned to the space corresponding to Classical 
Antiquities off the central knot. 



The Principle of Selected Exhibits. 

The next, and in some ways the most important consideration, 
is the question of how much of our available material, present 
and future, should be exhibited, and how much should be stored 
or put on exhibition merely for students and specialists. This 
is a question on which much has been said and written, and the 
whole trend of modern museum arrangement appears to be 
towards the elimination of a portion of a collection and the exhi- 
bition of a selected remainder. This can be done in two ways, 
either once and for all, sele(5ling the best pieces and installing 
them permanently in the best possible way, or having changing 
exhibitions of the best things, drawn from the large general col- 
lection on exhibition for study only (a reserve collection) or 
drawn from an actual storage. These two, the reserve collection 
and the storage, could of course be used together, they are not 
mutually exclusive. 

Its Object. The advantage of the changing exhibition is 
to give a great choice and variety to the exhibitions and to 
avoid the pitfall of the Tribuna principle, which attempts to say 
definitely and for all time what things are best. 

The advantage of the fixed exhibition of the best things lies 
in the fadl that the galleries can be more perfectly suited to the 
objects they are to contain, and the objects themselves may have 
that individual care and attention in installation which would 
not be warranted unless they were to be somewhat permanent. 
I believe that in all departments there would be some objects 
which would demand and deserve this special and permanent 
installation. 

It by no means follows from this that the objects in the reserve 
collections are necessarily of inferior quality, but merely that 
in the effort to give every object its best opportunity it is appar- 
ently undesirable to show the whole of a large collection; and it 
will be seen that in the development of the plan the application 
of this principle varies with different departments, and in all 



13 



cases there is opportunity to apply its general principles as seems 
best; and if with any department it were thought desirable jlo 
exhibit all their material, even this would be possible on the 
plans that are presented. 

To my mind the importance of this selected and limited exhi- 
bition cannot be overestimated. With a smaller number of 
things to be exhibited, greater attention can be paid to their 
installation, and more space can be given to each object or each 
case. For the public this has a double advantage, it avoids the 
weariness of a long series of rooms, and the monotony of a long 
series of similar objects, and further it gives to each object 
shown a space and a setting which interests and rivets the atten- 
tion. This latter I believe to be of great importance, and 
indeed, fundamental, that the colledlions shall not depend for 
their influence on their size or the number of the objects in them, 
but on the beauty of every object — the one thing which entitles 
anything to a place as a work of the fine arts. The small, 
supremely good collection, set in perfect manner is then another 
ideal set over against the big, the crowded, the wearisome type. 

This however is not to be done to the exclUvSion of the student 
or his work. The seal of the museum accepts the work of 
education as part of the object of the museum. Mr. Brimmer 
said "it is of the jSrst importance that our collections should 
attract, interest and instruct the public; and it is of an import- 
ance second only to this that they should meet the requirements 
of the student, the designer, and the specialist." But he cer- 
tainly recognized, even then, ten years ago, the supreme import- 
ance of our beautiful originals, for he said, "in using our space, 
the first object should be to give it to those things which have 
the greatest interest and beauty; the second to secure the propor- 
tionate growth of all the departments of the Museum." As long 
ago therefore as 1883 this position, of the prominence given to 
beautiful things, had been accepted. 

The Sub-division of Each Department. In a general way 
the principle of selection would mean three divisions in each 
department, the first, the important galleries, or perhaps merely 
the galleries which would be most popular or best for the people 
to see. Then the second group which would be for the student, 
the expert, all in fact who are not content with a superficial 



14 



knowledge of the beauty of the object but want further know- 
ledge. And third, there would be the administration of the de- 
partment where would be the curator's office, work rooms,*study 
rooms and special library of the department. The ideal for the 
arrangement of each department taken in connection with the 
previous ideals of a single main floor and independent depart- 
ments would be (i ) that each should have its entrance on a main 
artery of the group; (2) that the visitor should be given a short 
circuit of the most important galleries, in which everything 
shown should be good of its kind, should be given plenty of 
space, and exhibited under the very best circumstances of light 
and surroundings; (3) that the route should be made perfectly 
clear (we saw a scheme in the Albertinum, Dresden, which ac- 
complished this admirably) giving the visitor the opportunity 
to go on to the other rooms of the department, or if he prefers, 
leave the department where he entered it on the main artery. 
Japan's short circuit should therefore return to the lobby and 
thus give the visitor his opportunity to enter Western Art next. 
His course then after again returning to the lobb}^, would be to 
the centre knot where a short circuit on either hand would give 
him a glimpse of the two departments there, and finally the 
pictures (Fig. 6). This method necessitates a certain amount of 




Fig. 6. 



returning to the central corridor but if the links off it are short 
and each step full of interest this is of little moment; (4) that a 



15 



longer, but equally clear circuit should embrace the reserve gal- 
leries which should be readily accessible for all who desire, and 
yet in a measure withdrawn; (5) and that finally, there should 
be the last group, clear of either circuit, through which there is 
no thoroughfare, for the work and study of the department. 

Installation. Closely connected with the selection of the best 
for exhibition is the question of installation of these objects to 
give them their full value. A museum of the fine arts is, to my 
mind, almost a contradiction — -an object of the fine arts is at its 
highest level only when it is fully serving the purpose and ful- 
filling the ideal for which it was created. This we recognize at 
once with an altar piece, a great wall decoration, a figure serv- 
ing its place in architecture. The moment such an object is 
removed from its place it loses something of that which makes 
it fine. When those who love such things see them removed 
from the place where they belong to the museum it is with a 
pang of regret, tempered onl5^bythe knowledge (in some cases) 
that thus only can what remains be preserved. To a certain 
extent this applies to nearly every object of the fine arts when it 
is put into a museum. It loses something which it can never 
regain, and this is why, in a sense, a museum of the fine arts is 
an anomaly. It is the recognition of this limitation and the 
strong desire that the object shall seem at home which has caused 
the modern tendency toward appropriate setting, which has en- 
couraged showing objects of the fine arts in connection with the 
objects which were their companions. 

The principle of selection will vary with the department as I 
will explain later, but the principle of installation should be the 
same, that nothing should be shown with inappropriate sur- 
roundings, that nothing should be false, and that nothing should 
be commonplace. One step farther, that the surroundings 
should be appropriate, should indeed approximate the original 
conditions for which the object was intended in so far as that can 
be done with truth and sincerity. Sometimes appropriate 
setting is so important that the object without it is valueless. 
A ceiling-painting designed for a richly panelled ceiling would 
lose much of its beauty if displayed without its framing bands 
on a flat ceiling, and if displayed as a wall picture would be al- 
most valueless, however masterly its drawing and technique. 



16 



The Rubens gallery at the I^ouvre impressed those of us who 
were together abroad, indeed I believe it impresses everyone, as 
a superb picture gallery. To my mind it is much more than 
merely that, and its greatest charm is that it is something else. 
It is a room whose walls are decorated with panels. Jean Le- 
mercier designed the room for Louis XIII, and Peter Paul 
Rubens was asked to paint panels in commemoration of Henri 
IV and Catherine de Medici, and the room was to be the state 
dining room. A splendid salon it is — a magnificent background 
for the show and pageant of a great dinner. Of course one 
knows that as a matter of bare fact Lemercier did not design it — 
it is not and never has been a state dining room, and the room 
was made for the paintings not the paintings for the room. 
But under all these barren facts is the pregnant one that it might 
have been what I suggest and that it has all these qualities, and 
therefore these pictures are seen ideally — absolutely as they 
should be seen. Such a setting for everything in a gallery of 
the fine arts is the ideal, but such an ideal, it is almost needless 
to say is unattainable in the majority of cases. 

We saw abroad numberless instances of the hopelessness of 
attempting the appropriate setting of objects unless it were done 
with absolute thoroughness and completeness, or else with an 
impersonal generality. Rooms in the Bavarian Museum at 
Munich, which attempted the reproduction of interiors in which 
were to be installed valuable originals, struck a note so false as 
to be a constant irritation. It was not only the annoyance of 
indistinguishable originals and reproductions, but the obvious 
limitations of producing verisimilitude. It seems to me that in 
this matter of appropriate setting only two solutions are possible. 
The first a room, itself worthy to be considered a production of 
the fine arts, transferred complete and set up and containing 
only such objects of the fine arts as rightly belong in it. 
The other solution is the adoption of standard forms which 
belong to the time or character of the objects to be contained in 
the gallery. Such a form was once suggested for the room to 
contain our Copleys — a dignified large i8th century room de- 
signed and finished in the period and having mantel-pieces and 
furniture corresponding; architecturally this was a period that 
was quiet, dignified and quite worthy of being reproduced, more- 



17. 



over such a room is one that can be reproduced with the full 
value and interest of an original. There would be no sense of 
imitation or reproduction. It was however apparent at once 
that this would mean a room so fixed in its wall spaces as to 
point to a fixed collection, therefore unsuitable for a somewhat 
uncertain group like our Copleys. But applying this solution 
more liberally it would mean that the Copleys, or the American 
school of that date, should go in a room similar in character to 
those for which they were intended. 

Where the architectural form and detail of the room is quite 
unobtrusive, as in most cases it should be, then, as we so fre- 
quently saw abroad, an element of the familiar surroundings 
may be added by introducing objects other than those which are 
the real occupants of the room. Some bronzes in the Bardini 
gallery gained much by being shown on fine old Italian tables. 
The Delft in the Kunstgewerbe museum at Berlin vv^as enhanced 
in interest, because some of the tiles were set in the walls, and 
some of the table service shown on a side-board. The furniture 
in the Wallace collection added a distinct interest not only to 
the gallery, but actually to the paintings themselves. 

Proportion afid scale. Equally important to my mind in satis-; 
factory arrangement is the question of scale. It is the ruin of 
small objects to be displayed in large galleries; it is equally dis- 
astrous to place large objects in spaces too small for them. It 
is disadvantageous to have both large and small objects in the 
same room, each will injure the other. It seems hardly neces- 
sary to give examples of what appears at first sight to be obvious, 
and yet there is with all of us such a tendency to value quantity 
rather than quality, size rather than beauty, cost rather than 
real value, that one falls into these errors from force of habit. 
There is so strong a feeling that size and cost are the measures 
of value that it is difficult to restrain one's self. There are other 
considerations also that influence one, and to a certain extent 
rightly. A collection as a whole is so intensely interesting to 
the connoiseur that it seems impossible to divide it without dis- 
tinct loss, and what may be rightly deemed the gain to the pub- 
lic in not wearying them may seem too dearly bought if it is at 
the loss of the unity of the exhibit. This, while it works pri- 
marily against the principle of selection, affects also this question 



i8 



of scale when large and small objects are in such a collection. 
Again the scientific or chronological arrangement, so precious 
in the eyes of the collector, may put things together which are 
not mutually advantageous. I believe however that none of 
these considerations should weigh against the appropriateness 
of setting — the scale of the surroundings — and that selection 
which makes for the beauty of the individual object, and seeks 
to avoid wearying the public. 



Summary of the three ideals. 

The application of these ideals, the single story, the separation 
of the departments from each other, and the careful selection of 
a small number of objects to be exhibited in supreme manner, 
will be different in each department. In all departments the 
single floor gives one the opportunity of a choice of light, and, 
with ceilings of different height, the opportunity to proportion 
the stud to the floor area. Both these are great advantages 
as compared with the limits of a two story building, and to these 
may be added the freedom from the restrictions of superinposed 
walls, and the plan of one story governing another equally im- 
portant story above or below. The separation of the depart- 
ments allows the visitor to go direct to his object and there 
concentrate his attention without being forced to go through 
other exhibits. The sub-division of departments is in itself an 
object lesson for the average visitor, that is, for the majority, as 
it shows him each object at its true value, or in the best way 
that it can be shown in a museum. It does not weary him with 
many objects or many galleries in one department; and this leads 
to a fourth ideal not to be classed in importance with the other 
three and yet to be considered. 



Connection between the Departments. 

If a department can be readily seAi by traversing a short and 
interesting series of rooms, the way to the next department, the 
next group of popular rooms, should be clear and short, so that 
your ordinary visitor may make the round of the departments 
as readily as is consistent with their independence. For this 



19 



reason it is ideal that the short circuit should return, and give 
access as directly as possible to the department most closely 
T elated to the one that is left. 

These then are the four ideals that have most strongly influ- 
enced the plans, I propose now to consider very briefly the 
arious departments. 

THE DEPARTMENTS. 

Department of Japanese and Chinese Art. 

The Japanese department, unlike most of the others, covers 
all branches of the fine arts (except perhaps the widest of all, 
architecture). We have sculptures, paintings, textiles and em- 
broideries, ceramics and pottery, prints, bronzes, lacquers, and 
the various small objects which form so important a part of 
Japan's art. Of the paintings and prints, a very small number 
can be exhibited at one time, yet numerically these are the 
greatest division, and I suppose the most important. The prin- 
ciple of exhibition of these would hold to a certain extent with 
all the other material. A selected number would be shown in the 
best way, and with some degree of permanency-that is without 
intention of frequent changes. The rest would be in storage, 
an accessible reference series. The mere number of divisions in 
this department means a series of galleries which might be 
wearisome. It is therefore desirable that a short circuit as well 
as a longer one should be contained in the exhibition galleries. 



^~ 



Pv 



V.y_ 



n 



/ 



Fig. 7. 
The three divisions would then be the two groups of galleries, 
perhaps equally important (Fig. 7) and the group for storage * 
and study, all three closely related. Ideally I should wish to 
see the short circuit fairly comprehensive, it might include some 

* The space in fig, 7 not included in either circuit. 



20 



sculpture and painting, the embroideries and the minor objects; 
perhaps it might also include the little garden court — for Jap- 
anese gardening is such a fine art in itself that I hope we may 
be able to show some phases of that most interesting work. 
From the store room objects would be taken from time to time 
for special exhibitions, and the room for these should be readily 
accessible from the first circuit. Thus I see the ideal arrangement 
of this important department, a few rooms, so beautiful, so well 
arranged, and so completely illustrative of what Japanese art is 
that the visitor will know its beauties as he never could in our 
museum, and be eager to come again to see more. More rooms 
for further exploration, and beyond all the quiet and retirement 
where the serious study of the department can be pursued. The 
withdrawal of some galleries from the short circuit would not 
necessarily mean that these objects were less important. Indeed 
in some cases it might well be that the most important treasures 
might in partial retirement have their value enhanced for those 
who really know their beauty. Exhibition galleries and the 
main store occupy the first floor. The Morse collection of Pottery 
occupies the whole Southern front on the ground floor. The 
rooms of the keeper of the Pottery, the Curator's and other ad- 
ministration rooms are also on this floor. 



The Paintings, Graphic Arts, and the Library. 

In the department of Paintings the process of selection is far 
simpler than in the Japanese department, because in the latter 
many of the objects in store may be as precious as those on ex- 
hibition. In the paintings it is rather the rigid exclusion of 
those that are not worthy. Some of those that are excluded 
from exhibition may be of value for study, and these would find 
place in close storage readily available for reference. We can- 
not well short circuit our galleries of carefully selected paintings 
without the entire omission of some distinctive group. They will 
cover with us, three main divisions, the early masters, the Amer- 
ican school, and modern paintings. But it is desirable and 
entirely feasible that the visitor while finding a clear circuit 
(probably chronological) should also be able to take any one of 
the three groups independent of the others. This would mean 



21 



three circuits, each complete in itself, and together making a 
consistent whole (Fig. 8.) Kach should be adequately rei)re- 
sented with the best we have. 





y^ 


-— - 


--> 




-^ 






^ 
















< 




















Fig, 8. 

Because I believe strongly that most paintings show to best 
advantage in ordinary rooms with windows, and not under the 
unnatural conditions of top-light, I think the majority of the 
galleries should be such side-lit rooms of good proportion, of 
domestic size, flooded with warm sunlight, relieved with pieces of 
furniture, tapestries and stuffs — in fact, so far as is consistent 
with a public building occasionally crowded, given that domestic 
feeling which belonged with the original purpose of the paintings 
themselves. 

Certain pictures of large scale, such as the American group of 
portraits, and many of the modern paintings may indeed demand 
galleries of such size as to require top-light. These I hope will 
be fine rooms, well proportioned, well lighted and, more than all, 
v/ell hung, and as such will compare favorably with the best 
foreign galleries; but the distinction of our picture galleries will 
I believe rest on our side-lit rooms. Here is our real opportun- 
ity to do something which has never yet been well done in a 
picture gallery. I v/ill speak more in detail about this later. 
The division will be the circuit of exhibition rooms, the reserve 
collection and a studio for the keeper. This whole collection 
will be on the first floor. 

In the same general group as that of the paintings would be 
the Vv^ater colors, drawings, and prints. For all of these, believ- 
ing side light to be the most satisfactory, assignment is shown 
on the ground floor of the painting block. It is extremely desir- 
able that the prints should not be exposed to the sunlight, and 
therefore they are ranged on the north-east and north-west ex- 
posure. These, with the aspect of the building, are all equally 
free from sunlight during the exhibition hours. The principle 



22 



of selection would certainly apply here, and only a small number 
of the prints would be shown at any one time. The three groups 
here would be the exhibition galleries, the visitors' room and 
store room, and the curator's room and work rooms. 

Water colours and drawings, on the other hand, might have 
a southerly exposure, and the warm light would be, in my judg- 
ment, a great advantage for both of these, provided the ill-effects 
of sun light on fugitive colour can be avoided. 

The library is gradually coming to take a more and more import- 
ant position in the work of the museum, and for this purpose, 
the central position, under the picture block, was selected by 
your committee as being the most suitable and the best position 
for this work coming in the centre of the block which is devoted 
to the graphic arts, and having in close connection with it the large 
and constantly increasing collection of photographs. For the 
display of these latter one gallery is assigned, and there is oppor- 
tunity for increase in the exhibition of this department, but for 
the most part the photographs will be filed away, and opportun- 
ity will be given for a study or draughting room in connection 
with a photograph store room. 



Department of Classical Art. 

The department of Classical antiquities is in some ways the 
most difficult of all to divide as it is open to question whether an 
arrangement by period or by material is the better. I am not 
competent to give any opinion on the merits of either principle, 
but I do feel strongly that the principle of exhibiting only a 
small number at a time should be carried out, and thus avoid the 
possible monotony of too many objects of a similar character and 
importance. Whichever plan of exhibition is adopted I should 
hope to see a short circuit of the most beautiful objects; in this 
we should have possibly all the marbles, and nearly all the 
bronzes, as our collection of these are small and choice, but cer- 
tainly not all of the other objects. In this department the rooms 
would be largely side-lit, and either sunny to the west, or with 
garden outlook to the Park. A glazed peristyle court would 
give the note of out-of-doors which is so valuable in classic art. 
As considerable instruction is given in this department the 



23 



curator's division includes a small lecture room. The great 
collection of Greek vases is given an important position on 
the ground floor, and here also is the curator's department. All 
the rest of the collection is on the first floor (Fig. 9). 



J 



/. 






Fig. 9 



At 



J 



J 




Fig. 10. 



Department of Egyptian Art. 

Kg3^pt is in some ways the most difficult of the departments 
for me to report upon, partly because I have not found it easy to 
get into touch with a subject of which I know so very little — 
even less than of the other departments — and partly because 
many of the Egyptian objects seem to me so much more suitable 
for a collection of antiquities than for a collection of the fine arts, 
and those which seem to me most beautiful are generally very 
small objects. There are however fine things of large size in our 
collection. For the bigger objects there must be large rooms, 
but for these wonderful small things the rooms must be small. 
I shall never forget the pleasure I experienced in looking over 
certain scarabs exhibited, not on pins on cards as if they were 
insects, not in cases in a vast hall, but simply laid on a beautiful 
piece of old green brocade in a table casein a small room. That 
is the sort of thing I hope to see in our Egyptian department. 
I hope that the rooms which take the large objects and the mas- 
tobas will contain only the best things and no needless repetition 
of similar types, and that the small objects may be given the 
advantage and dignity of small rooms, and not be forced to dwell 
with material of quite another scale. It w^ould appear as if the 
whole of this department might be on the first floor and leave 
the space below quite free (Fig. 10). 



24 



Western Art. 

With the plan of the picture block and the likelihood that 
many of the objects belonging in Western Art may find a home 
there, the present plan for this department is somewhat vague. 
Galleries have been assigned to it, we have considerable material 
which belongs in them, and I look forward to seeing this develop 
into one of the most interesting of the departments. It is the 
one that enters most intimately into our every day life — our china 
and glass, silverware and household articles, furniture, stuffs, 
embroideriCvS — all our household surroundings — fall into this 
group. With the constantly improving standard of taste one 
may confidently hope that this department will not only stimulate 
our manufacturing, but that our manufactures will in turn help 
to make this department representative of the best modern work, 
as well as the best old. In this connection it is to be hoped that 
the possibility of a New Kngland historical collection may not 
be lost sight of. Much of the work of the late seventeenth and 
eighteenth centuries was full of artistic impulse, and much of it 
has a stamp which is characteristically New Kngland. The 
whole of the block balancing Japan, both ground and first floor, 
is devoted to this department, a circuit of small galleries sur- 
rounding a large glazed court. Rooms opening on this court 
would have the freedom of fenestration necessary for original 
interiors. The outer perimeter on the first floor would be the 
natural short circuit with reference series and curators' rooms 
on the ground floor (Fig. ii.) 




Fig. II, 



Cast? 



I have left until the end the consideration of a matter that in 
the early months of study occupied a great part of our attention, 



25 



that is the cast coUedlion. Our casts, (not all on exhibition 
now) would fill the greater part of one floor of our museum, and 
if the collection is to grow to the natural limit of a comprehen- 
sive historical exhibit of the fine arts in reproduc5lion it would 
require a very large area. It was calculated that if built in the 
most compact manner and all top-lit it would require nearly fifty 
thousand square feet, and even then the collecftion could not 
pretend to be complete in representing architedture. For well 
over a year such an area was considered a necessary archi- 
tecftural element in every plan made. This not only ham- 
pered seriously the plan, but, owing to the size of this block 
for casts, the more important original colledlions were de- 
preciated. Even now the question, although temporarily laid 
aside by the vote of the Museum Committee to install our pres- 
ent colledlion and not plan for immediate extension, is still a 
vital one. It has been suggested that the casts might be divided 
and occupy rooms on the ground floor under or adjacent to the 
various departments, but even this is beset with difficulties and 
after repeated trials was abandoned. There is behind the whole 
matter the question of how far casts are obje(5ls of fine arts, and 
how far they deserve recognition in our new museum. The 
collection is so large that its mere bulk will attract attention, 
which I believe to be out of proportion to its value, and my own 
feeling is that the casts should occupy no place where they are 
liable to detract from the value and interest of the originals. 
My ideal would be a separate museum connected with that part 
of the group which is educational in character, the school and 
the lecture room. But this is a wide question and one on which 
there may well be differences of opinion. This plan shows the 
collection beginning on the ground floor in the space under the 
Egyptian Department and extending towards the west. In this 
same direction is space for further development of the museum 
proper, for the school, for the outside exhibition hall, for the 
lecture room and for the Power plant. 



REPETITION OF IDEALS. 

In closing I want to repeat then the ideals which have gov- 
erned the plan and are more fully explained in the detailed 



26 



report of the requirements of the new building which is to follow ^ 
and which to a certain extent are I hope exemplified in the ac- 
companying plans. 

These are,y^r^/, a museum where the principal exhibits are all 
on one floor and that the first floor — the one where the main 
entrance is. Hitherto I have spoken of the first floor as the calf 
floor on which there would be objects on exhibition. Various 
considerations led us to advise making the basement a true 
ground floor above grade, and giving it such height as would 
make it available for secondary exhibition or for reserve collec> 
tions. This will provide opportunity for growth, by allowing 
space where objects may be placed that have been withdrawn 
from the chief galleries to make way for more important mater- 
ial. Second, that each department of the museum shall be com- 
plete in itself, self-contained. Third, that each department 
shall have a short series of galleries in which are exhibited its 
most carefully selected treasures, in most perfect w^ay, its other 
material being either exhibited elsewhere, or placed in storage 
for reference. Fourth, that the relation between the departments 
should be such as to allow the visitor the most ready communi- 
cation from the exhibition galleries of one department to those 
of the next. 

These are the four principal ideals, and these will be shown in a 
variety of ways in all departments. If they can be adopted and 
adhered to in the building of our museum I believe that we shall 
have a building far in advance of anything that has been done 
in museums, for it means above everything else that we are 
aiming to cut loose from the old ideals of size and magnificence 
and the multitude of objects, and are to be content rather to seek 
for small things and for perfect things. 



27 



PART II. 

DETAII.KD CONSIDERATIONS. 



In the second portion of the report I propose to take up in more 
detail. Firsts entrances, and the grades of approaches, floors 
and courts. Second^ the general consideration of the plan, 
thoroughfares, the exhibition group, the administration and 
educational group. Thirds the particular requirements of each 
exhibition block. Fourth^ the requirements of the administra- 
tion, heat and power, exhibition and lecture halls, and school. 



GROUNDS, COURTS AND APPROACHES. 

Grounds and Courts. 

Park Lines. Before taking up the more detailed consideration 
of the interior of the building I want to say a word about the 
grounds outside the building and the courts enclosed by it. The 
development of this plan was at first considerably hampered by 
the lot lines. Nowhere except on the avenue was there a right 
line. The Park entrance was not at right angles with the 
avenue and the new street was still further removed from 90 
degrees. The lines on the Park were all sweeping curves, ill 
adapted to the regularity of plan that seems advisable for our 
block. (Fig. 12a). With the cooperation of the Park depart- 
ment of the city and the concurrence of the Mayor, the Trustees 
are given permission to change these lines so that there will be 
more available building land although slightly less actual area. 
(Fig. 12b). The Huntington Avenue frontage is increased 37 
feet 6 inches, from 645 to 682 feet 6 inches, the entrance to the 
Fens is at right angles and gives us a 608 foot frontage to the 
east, and the north frontage on the Fens is again at right 
angles, and is about 840 feet long. With the driveway proposed 
to be built on our land, our main exhibition block is contained 
in a rectangular lot. 



28 




HUNTINGTON AVE 



FENWAY I^AND — OrIGINAI, lylNES. 

Fig. r2a. 



y 



"\ V 




HUNTINGTON AVE 



FENWAY IvAND-PRESKNT I^INBS. 

Heavy line is limit of Museum Property. 
Fig. i2b. 



29 



Gardens and Set-backs, Very early in the study of the plans 
the consideration of the grounds was taken up and the desira- 
bility of planting, more formal than that generally adopted in 
the Fens, was accepted. This was one of the reasons for chang- 
ing the lot lines from curved to straight. 



G A Rt D E N 




CARRIAGE 
COURT 



Fig. 13. 



30 



The block of the plan as presented (I^ig. 13) is such as to give 
a forecourt on Huntington Avenue, and to put the main entrance 
a considerable distance from the street. The northern block 
containing pictures is so far set back from the north line of our 
lot as to reserve space, partly enclosed also by the wings of the 
picture block, for a garden here. The set-back on the Park en- 
trance is such as to enclose here an area somewhat similar to the 
forecourt on Huntington Avenue, but which, being intended for 
a carriage entrance, comes in at grade to the ground floor. In 
addition to these reserved areas the building as a whole is set 
back forty feet from Huntington Avenue and sixty-feet from the 
line of the Park entrance, while the wings of the painting block 
set back one hundred and three feet from the Park line on the 
Fenway. 

All these areas are to be treated with formal planting, and the 
large garden to the north is intended to be walled and made ac- 
cessible only from the Museum, while the other portions are 
generally open to the public. 

Inner Court Yards. In addition to these reserved areas there 
are four principal inner court yards of which one is distinctly 
reserved for service, and the others serve merely as light areas. 
To insure direct light into the pipe trenches the grade of these 
courts is three feet six inches below the grade set for the ground 
floor, and on this account it is not suggested that these courts 
should be treated as gardens but rather that they should be 
paved. This, however, is not a necessary requirement and if 
thought practicable they are undoubtedly sufficiently large, and 
sufficiently open to the sun to allow their being in grass. 

Covered Courts. In addition to these open courts certain areas 
in some of the departments, Japan, Western Art, and Classical 
Antiquities, are practically closed courts, in which growing 
things would thrive and add a touch of out-of-doors to these 
spots. All these spaces, however, are available as exhibition 
area. 



Entrances and Grades. 

I agree with the officers of the administration that a single 
main entrance is preferable to two, and that this entrance should 



31 



be on the main thoroughfare and not on the Park. Also that 
this entrance, while set back considerably from the avenue to 
give retirement, should have a covered approach. In the plan 
presented to the Committee the covered approach is omitted, but 
a plan is given here to show how this was proposed. (Fig. 14). 




Fig. 14. 

The central apprpach would divide the forecourt in two, and 
these spaces should be planted as gardens, attractive spots open 
to the public at such times as the Museum is open, but so 
arranged as to be closed at other times. 

The elevation above the street is such as to give a ground 
floor of fair stud and incidentally keep our lowest grades above 
the water level of grade 12. The sidewalk is grade 18 and the en- 
trance lobby, and the main lobbies and corridors have been fixed 
at grade 32.50, the main exhibition floor, in all blocks but the 
paintings, at 35.50, in the paintings at 38.50. This, in my 
judgment, is ample and should certainly not be exceeded. The 
grades outside rise from grade 18 to grade 20 at the building, 
and the grades of the interior courts are at 16.50 so that the 
ground floor at grade 20 is nowhere below ground. The rooms 
under most of the first floor have a stud of fourteen feet, but 
under the painting block the stud is seventeen feet. The ser- 
vice corridors, below the first floor corridors, have a stud of 
eleven feet. 

At first sight this ground floor above grade with a stud of 
fourteen feet and seventeen feet seems a departure from the 
one story ideal. The first floor is a considerable height above 
the street, necessitating a good many steps. The ground floor 
rooms are so good as to tempt one to make sacrifices of more 
important things (compactness-the plan of the floor above) to 
make them better. But on the whole the grades so fixed seemed 



32 



to be justified. The added usefulness of the rooms below has 
already been mentioned; the elevation of the first floor gives the 
dignity necessary for so large a block of building, and the space 
below the ground floor is available for domestic engineering 
with outside light, and is above the Back Bay water level; 
nothing except the Boiler room and the longest steam returns 
requiring water-proofing. (Fig. 15). 

^585 PICTURE 510 CK 
^55.5 FIRST fLOO t^ 

L32.5 MAIN COf^i^lDORS 



20 GROUiSD FLOOR. 



ur- \% LEVEL Of PIP£ TRENCHES 



Fig. 15. 

Besides the main entrance for daily use it is proposed that 
there should be an entrance for occasional use on the Park at 
the east. (Fig. 16). This would be intended for carriages and 
for evening use on special occasions, and its vestibule would be 
cut off from the Museum and form no part of the portion ordi- 
narily open to the public. When this entrance is in use doors 
on the staircase of the Classical Department will be thrown open. 
Small service accommodation for tickets, etc., is shown in con- 
nedlion with the vestibule, and additional space could be taken 
when required on the other side. An elevator for occasional use 
is also shown at this door, which will give opportunity to visit 
the Museum without being obliged to mount any steps. 




DQ 



IV 



oa 



Fig. 16. 



33 



The main entrance is approached by a series of short runs of 
easy steps on the outside up to grade 32.50. Double doors for 
protection are construdlionally a part of the lobby. Within the 
inner door is a central station, which on all occasions, except 
when the Museum is crowded, will serve the double purpose of 
cloak room and information desk. This arrangement would 
allow of a single person taking charge of these two departments 
on pay days. On one side a separate office for tickets, and on 
the other side a corresponding space available as the second coat 
room on crowded days. The central bureau will be a low struc- 
ture and not interfere architecturally with the lobby itself, which 
is in the form of a Greek cross lighted from windows high up 
north and south and from a small ceiling light receiving its 
direct light from windows in the drum of the dome. 




Fig. 17. 

From the main hall, the departments on either hand are di- 
rectly accessible by a flight of vsix steps, making sufficient break 
to mark their independence, yet not sufficient to be of practical 
inconvenience. The main corridor north and south leads to the 



34 



centre knot off which are two departments reached by six steps 
as are those on the front, and finally at the end a flight of 
twelve steps leads up to the first floor of the north block, and a 
longer flight leads down to the ground floor below it. (Fig. i8). 
A subordinate corridor leads from one side of the main lobby 
to the administration. A continuation of this corridor reaches 
the educational group, school, lecture hall, exhibition hall and 
the restaurant. 





General arrangement of the Plan. 

The separation of the departments is primarily to give each 
the value and importance that comes from isolation and concen- 
tration of interest, but it is necessary that there should be ready 



35 



connection between these separate departments, first, for the 
public, second, for officers and other employees. The former 
connection should be direct and without any more changes in 
level than is absolutely essential in connection with the grades 
already described. 



Corridor System. 

The connedtion between departments for the public will then 
generally necessitate descending to the corridor level and rising 
again in the next department. In some cases where depart- 
ments touch on outer perimeters, a connec5lion might be made 
without this up and down, and however undesirable theoretically 
might be of practical service on free days. If the public galler- 
ies, that is the galleries previously spoken of as a first circuit, 
do not touch at these outer points, there should at all events be 
connection here for officials so that communication from one 
part of the Museum to another may always be possible in the 
most direct way. 

For employees, the general line of communication would be 
on the ground floor, and here also would be the service corri- 
dors for the delivery of objects to each department. Everything 
of this sort would be kept out of the main corridors, (those on 
the first floor) where, apart from other considerations, the differ- 
ence of levels would be a serious obstacle. 

With the adoption of the single story plan the question of 
staircases is largely eliminated. Only where the ground floor 
is used for exhibition purposes would stairs be needed, and 
as these would always be for the service of one comparatively 
small section the stairs will be purely utilitarian, not monumental, 
from five to seven feet wide. The short runs which connect 
corridors with departments-a matter of six steps-might well 
have the dignity of considerable width. The stairs to the 
picture galleries having to rise double this distance, and leading 
as they would to the largest and in many respects the most pop- 
ular department, would be the nearest approach to monumental 
stairs. As the picture block has considerable length, it would 
be desirable to have minor staircases at either end, west and 
east, to afford outlets and connection at these points, both with 



36 



the ground floor, where prints and photographs are, and also 
with adjacent departments. Corresponding points at the front 
have staircases which make similar connection to those on the 
north, but are primarily intended for officers and service. At 
each of these four points a freight lift is located. (See Fig. 34). 



Position of Exhibition Deparments. 

I have already outlined the skeleton plan, the entrance in 
the centre of the Huntington Avenue facade, the Greek cross 
lobby, and the central corridor. On this frame are to be 
grouped five important exhibition departments. Paintings, 
Classical Art, Japan, Kgypt, and Western Art, and accommoda- 
tion must be found for our casts, and an eye kept open for some 
future independent department. The largest and most important 
block is that of the paintings, at the extreme north end of the 
group; on the main floor the pictures, and below, on the ground 
floor and over-looking the gardens and the Fens, the Library and 
Photographs and the Print collection. Thus all the graphic arts 
are grouped together. The block is an oblong, a double gallery 
width, with two wings flanking the garden east and west. 

Off the centre of the main corridor to the east it is proposed to 
place the department of Classic Art. The plan proposed is T 
shaped, and was decided upon to enable us to put the block on 
the outer perimeter of our lot, for the unobstructed light and the 
view. 

Japanese and Chinese art is assigned the position on the east 
of the main lobby. The department of Japan is the most definite 
and complete department we have and the space assigned to it 
is in the judgment of the authorities practically final. Japan 
will occupy the whole of the main floor and a portion of the 
ground floor as well. If Western Art occupies the block cor- 
responding to Japan it will have the whole of the main floor and 
will have the ground floor for development. Egypt will have the 
block opposite Classical Antiquities, and all of its exhibition 
and probably its Reference Series as well will find room on the 
main floor. This would leave the ground floor free for the casts, 
which if enlarged in their scope could spread yet further to the 
west. This embraces the group of the exhibition blocks which 



37 



will thus cover roughly a frontage of four hundred and twenty- 
five feet on Huntington Avenue and a depth of four hundred 
and sixty-five feet. (Fig. 19.) 




J L 



DEPARTMENT OF PAINTINGS 

Mar~~~ 



C t A5 5 ICAl-l 

AhTIQUITIE.5 



1 YmTT' 




JAPAN 



Fig. 19. 

The Adminstration and Educational Group. 

In addition to this there are the administration, and educa- 
tional group. There will be the administration proper, divided 
as of officers and servants; the plant for heat, power and light; 
a general exhibition hall and a lecture hall, accessible without 
entrance to the Museum, but connected with it; a restaurant, 
and the school. Of the administration, both branches should be 
in close connection with the exhibition group, and practically a 
part of the block. The exhibition and lecture halls might 
well be altogether outside the exhibition block, with a mere 
corridor connection. The school should have ready access to the 
Museum but need not be otherwise closely connected, and the 
restaurant should be so placed as to be outside the exhibition 
group and yet convenient for the visitors to the Museum, the 
ofiicers, and the school. 

A small block is suggested for the administration leading off 
the subordinate corridor. It is here immediately accessible from 



38 



the Museum without going through any department and yet can 
have its main entrance for all who have business with the ad- 
ministration direct from Huntington Avenue, without going 
through the Museum. This floor would be at the corridor grade 
of 32.50. Immediately under it would be the service admin- 
istration. This block finishes to the west the area which seems 
necessary for the museum proper and may well be marked by a 
driveway which would give access to the northwest corner of 
the lot where future development must occur, and incidentally 
give entrance from a road controlled by the Museum to the 
lecture hall, exhibition hall and school — as well as the entrance 
to the service court. The school and restaurant are placed on 
the other side of the driveway, where the former has the de- 
sirable north exposure. To free the whole lot as far as possible 
from the hampering limitations of the power-house this is shown 
on the extreme western end of the east and west axis, on Museum 
Street, where its service, its noise and its dirt will be as far as 
possible removed from the exhibition galleries. (Fig. 20.) 



FUTURE EXHIBITION AREA 




EXHIBITION 
BLOCK 

n 



5ERV1CC COUET 



T r 



Fig. 20. 



There remain to be considered the public exhibition and 
lecture halls. These are both placed on the corner between the 
proposed driveway and Museum Street. They are easily access- 
ible to the public, in close touch with the school! and have 



39 



corridor connedlion with the Museum. With this arrangement 
the northwest corner of our lot is available for future indefinite 
extension, and the plans indicate how the proposed drive- 
way might lead to a courtyard flanked by future exhibition 
buildings. 

THE EXHIBITION GROUP. 

Paintings. 

As a guide to the number of galleries that should be shown 
as the complete block of the paintings, it was thought desirable 
to study first in some detail the amount of space that was neces- 
sary to install in adequate manner the best of our present collec- 
tion. 



Method of Calcidating Hanging Capacity. Of the paintings at 
present in the possession of the Museum, about one thousand 
(looo) in number, the Museum Committee report that four 
hundred and thirty (430) are suitable for exhibition. This 
includes some seventy five water colours; the remainder fall 
roughly into three groups — The Old Masters, the early Ameri- 
can group of portrait painters of whom Copley is the chief, and 
the painters who come after this date. This last group as a 
matter of fact includes some English and French work contem- 
porary with the work of the American group before mentioned. 
It has been suggested by the authorities that Copley, connected 
as he is with painting in New England, should be given a 
prominent, perhaps a central position. The location of our 
picture block approached on the centre of its long side, lends 
itself well to this suggestion and allows one to provide galler- 
ies on either hand for the groups which precede and follow 
Copley. In calculating the number of galleries to house 
adequately, and in dignified manner, the four hundred and 
thirty (430) paintings referred to, there is a rough method which 
will give a fairly accurate result for a series of galleries, that is 
to take thirty square feet per picture, and calculate that the 
pictures will extend from three feet above the floor to fifteen feet 
above the floor; multiply the number of paintings by thirty, 



40 



divide by twelve, and the result will be the number of running 
feet of wall necessary. This would give 1080 running feet, or nine 
galleries thirty four feet square (omitting in each gallery sixteen 
feet for two doors) . These nine galleries would have an area of 
10,404 square feet. The plan proposed shows in its main block 
galleries of various sizes and various lighting which have 1182 
running feet and cover 12,290 square feet of floor. They 
therefore answer approximately to our needs by this method oi 
calculation. The east and west wings provide for development 
respectively of the old masters and of the modern paintings.* 

The more accurate method is to take into account the irregu- 
larity of the bottom and top lines as governed, first, by the size 
of the gallery, and, second, by the size of the pictures, and 
influenced again by the fact that the larger, and presumably 
top-lit galleries, will contain larger pictures which will average a 
larger occupation of wall surface than the smaller pictures which 
would find their place in the smaller, and presumably side-lit 
galleries. | To arrive at a more accurate figure applicable to 
the galleries as laid out, a list of the selected pictures of th^ 
Copley group and the early masters were arranged — the former 
in a square forty foot gallery, the latter in 24x32 side-lit 
galleries, and it was found that the square room would hang 
forty of these large sized canvasses. (Fig. 21). I^aying out the 
small rooms in the same way it was found that they would 
average twenty five apiece. (Fig. 22). In the large gallery 
some pictures over- topped the fifteen foot line, and in the small 
room pictures w^ould rarely if ever be hung to advantage more 
than twelve feet from the floor. The height at which a picture 
may be hung to be seen at its best is governed by a variety of 
considerations, chief of which are the size of canvas and the size 
of the room. In a gallery of 28 feet width, like most of the 
Cassel galleries, it was found that seated in the centre it was un- 
comfortable to try to see the upper portions of pidlures, which 
were in some cases over fifteen feet above the floor — but in a 
wider gallery the same picftures might perfedlly well have hung 
as high as this. Again, a very large pic5lure may well overtop 

* It is interesting to compare this with our six galleries. They cover 6178 sq. ft., and on 
Nov. 35, 1904, when the primitives were in VI, and gallery I and gallery V were freely hung 
they contained 353 pictures. 



41 



V 

I 


3 


S 


' 


8 


10 


g. 


4 5 


7 


9 '• o 






'^ - — — > — 



' 












1 


14- 

15 


16 
'7 


( 


%5 


23 


18 


ao 


ai 


i9 




22 


A4 


26 


■ 


1 1 



Fig. 21. 
Pictures Hung. 



1. Stuan 

2. Picture 

3. Trumbull 

4. Copley 

5. Copley 

6. Stuart 

7. Copley 

8. Page 

9. Copley 

10. Stuart 

11. Copley 

12. Stuart 

13. Picture. 



Mrs. O. Brewster. 

Sortie from Gibraltar. 
Mrs. Dan'l Sargent. 
Jos. Warren. 

Washington at Dorchester 
Family of the Painter. 
J. Q^ Adams. 
Mrs. J. Warren. 
L. M. Sargent. 
Dorothy Q^ 
Mrs. Yates. 



14. Stuart 

15. Stuart 

16. Copley 

17. Stuart 

18. Stuart 
IQ. Stuart 
30. Copley 
21. Stuart 
33. Stuart 

23. Copley 

24. Stuart 

25. Stuart 

26. Stuart 



A. Davis. 

J<>s. Qiiincy, 

Jere. Lee. * 

Washington. 

Gov. Brooks. 

C. Dunne. 

Watson and the Shark. 

W. N. Boylston. 

Rev. J. L. Gardner. 

Mrs. Jere. Lee. 

Martha Washington. 

Gen. Knox. 

A, Townsend 



the level which, it is comfortable or convenient for the eye to 
embrace, because the focal point of interest in the great canvas 
is nearer the centre and consequently far below the upper line. 
It seems to me that it is this focal centre of the painting which 
should be most accurately related to the eye and therefore in 
many cases a large painting not only may overtop the line of 
vision, but sometimes actually must overtop it if the centre of 
interest in the pidlure is to be in the best place in relation to the 
eye. These actual experiments, reinforced by the actual figures 
of foreign galleries were the basis of computation for the hang- 
ing capacity of the galleries shown. 

Division between Top and Side-lit Galleries. To determine the 
number and size of galleries needed, the division of galleries 
between top and side light was then the first important con- 
sideration. As I have already said I believe side light to be the 
best for the majority of paintings; especially do I believe it to be 
desirable for the Old Masters (always excepting canvasses of 
very large dimensions of which we haye few) . Top light for the 
Copley group seems advisable on account of the size of the pic- 
tures, and both top and side light the former preponderating, for 



42 



"•sSJE^sn 



^»g-«f 



□Esm 



'• ... 

9 


a. 

13 


^ 


1 "n ^ 1 

1 i } 



WALLA 



WALL-B 






PLANOritOOM 



B 



-'"'f^ 


ffiT\ 


y/^ L" 




t t-H 


ssbs 1 -^ 


t— f 


::: 




n 


r — 


1 



VALL-D 



fM« 



H 











m 



16 



ift 



20 



liD 



Aju> Of ;jc Doott 



«< 



u 



1. Venetian 

3. Picture. 

3, Bembrandt 

4, Maes 

5, Rembrandt 

6, Rembrandt 

7, Metzu 

S. Rembrandt 

9. Ruysdael 

10. Ruysdael 

11. Kalf 
J2. Verelst 
13. Van Aelst 



VALL-C 








Fig. 


22. 






Pictures 


H 


ung. 




Man In Armor. 


If 


Baldung 


Portrait, 




»■;• 


Picture. 




Nicholas Tulp. 


16. 


Moroni 


Count Alborghctti 


Jealous Husband. 


17. 


Picture. 




Danae. 


18. 


du Jardin 


County Fair, 


Portrait of Father. 


iq. 


Picture, 




The Usurer. 


20. 


Ribera 


Philosopher 


Wife of N. Tulp. 


ai. 


Sch. of Holbein 


Donor and Saint*, 


Forest. 


22. 


de Hooch 


Interior. 


Cottage. 


2,^. 


Picture. 




Still Life. 


24. 


Konink 


Lady 


Still Life. 


2";. 


Flemish 


Virgin & Child. 


Still Life. 


26. 


Van Dyck 


Head. 



43 



modern work. After very careful study of the picture block, 
extending over some nine months, two schemes, fundamentally 
alike but differing in certain particulars were presented to 
the Museum Committee. For convenience of study both these 
plans showed in detail the central block only, without the 
wings, which were then looked upon as future developments 
rather than present needs. One contemplated side-lit galleries, 
five in number for the Old Masters, top-lit rooms for the Ameri- 
can group (with side light available in two rooms if desired) 
and top-lit galleries for the bulk of the modern work. This plan 
showed a block of narrow dimensions which yet gave space for 
the library, photographs, and prints under (Fig. 23). The 




Fig. 23. 
other plan was one whic^ was practically symmetrical on both 
sides of the centre, giving both side and top-lit galleries in about 
equal proportions; three southern side-lit galleries on either side 
of the centre, two western side-lit, three square top-lit, and one 
long oblong top-lit. This plan having galleries back to back 
required a wider block, and owing to the arrangement of the 
central knot covered a much larger area although the picture 
capacity of the blocks was the same (Fig. 24). This plan after 
most careful consideration by the Museum Committee was 
adopted, and this is the plan with the two wings developed that 
is now submitted. 




Fig. 24. 



44 



Top-lit Galleries, In pursuance of the results obtained abroad, 
that the best top-lit gallery is the square (page 27 Foreign 
Report) five of the nine top-lit galleries are square. (See Fig. 26) . 
The larger one is the central gallery, the knot of the whole col- 
lection, and this gallery is surrounded by corridors and lobbies 
which not only give ready access to the galleries on either hand, 
but give opportunity for the display of furniture, tapestries, etc., 
and an outlook on the garden. 

In many ways this should prove an exceptionally interesting 
feature, to which however there are two objections, one that the 
importance of this central gallery is very strongly emphasized, 
and the other that the surrounding corridor does not represent 
the clear circuit in the department which has been referred to as 
one of the ideals; the arrangement of the lobby however could 
be such as somewhat to obviate this latter, and make the circuit 
clear. 

The other square galleries are thirty- four feet, all four of 
these are intended to follow the type of the Brera galleries and 
I advise a small square opening in a shallow dome for the ceiling 
light, and square lantern glazed on a steep pitch rising above a 
flat paved roof for the skylight. The ceiling light would be 
glazed with some form of diffusing glass to break the sun's 
rays; and the skylight I believe should be glazed with clear 
glass (although about this point there is some difference of 
opinion), and the distance between ceiling light and skylight 
only the amount necessary to allow ready cleaning of the glass. 
For this the superintendent suggests a plank running on tracks 
spanning the ceiling light, and enough space left all around the 
ceiling light to walk in. Kvery skylight should be supplied 
with steam for melting snow and with hot and cold water, to be 
turned on from a utility room located over some of the low-stud 
spaces of the main floor, possibly the lobby. This general ar- 
rangement and construction would apply to all top-lit galleries 
and a covered way should connect the lofts. (Fig. 25). 



45 




Fig. 25. 

Following along the lines of what was given in the foreign 
report on questions of size and proportion, I should advise for 
the forty foot gallery a spring at twenty feet above the floor and 
a ceiling light at thirty feet high, and the opening about thirteen 
feet square. For the thirty- four foot square galleries a spring 
and ceiling light one foot lower than these. For the long gal- 
lery, which is thirty-four feet wide by seventy-four feet long, 
where the length tells as a factor in proportion and more height 
is necessary, a spring at twenty-one feet — higher, that is, in this 
thirty-four foot gallery than in the forty foot square — and a 
ceiling light at thirty-one feet or thirty-two feet. For hanging 
large canvasses advantageously, and for the freedom given by 
the long walls, this long gallery is a desirable type to have, and 
we must hope to be able to find means of obviating the difficul- 
ties of glare from a long ceiling light. With our orientation 
this would be especially disagreeable from March to September 
when the gallery will be raked by the sun from noon to four in 
the afternoon. 

Other top-lit galleries are in proportion of two to three (their 
width to their length), and for a gallery of medium size this is 



46 



a fairly satisfactory proportion. For these rooms I should 
advise a spring at the same level as the thirty-four foot square 
galleries, namely nineteen feet, and a ceiling light slightly 
higher, perhaps thirty feet. 

It is estimated that the forty foot gallery will hang forty good 
sized pictures, the 34 x 74, sixty of about the same average size, 
that the thirty-four foot square gallery will hang from thirty-five 
such large pictures to forty-five of such size as would naturally 
be in a gallery of this dimension and the 34 x 48 galleries about 
eight more than this.* It is seen therefore that the two 
square galleries will hang more than the long gallery occupy- 
ing the same area, and it will be seen presently that the three 
side-lit galleries which occupy the same area will hang still more. 

Side-lit Galleries. I believe there is a general agreement that 
a sunny aspect is better for side-lit rooi»s than the sunless north 
In this I very strongly believe; I believe also that these side-lit 
rooms should in every way be worthy settings for the pictures 
they contain; rooms as carefully studied for the proportion of 
floor and wall space, as carefully planned for the arrangement 
of the pictures on the walls as one would study a room in a house. 
I wish to lay especial emphasis on this because during the study 
of this problem it has been frequently stated to me that this ques- 
tion of the beauty of the room as a room had no bearing on our 
problem, which was simply and solely what would give the best 
possible light for the pictures. This is just the way in which 
the problem has been studied in Germany and the results are the 
angled, curved and other abominable forms, which one sees in 
the cabinet. Because it is a room and not a cabinet I strongly 
advise a low window sill, the ordinary domestic sill, even if the 
window is always shuttered up to six or seven feet. For the 
same reason I should like to see the window studied as one stud- 
ies any important window opening. Its width and height being 
determined by the necessities of light, I think the opening 
should be subdivided and brought into proper scale. The great 
sheet of glass through which the light falls on the Sistine Ma- 
donna has no proportion, no quality, it is merely a hole in the 
wall. With this preamble I advise such side-lit rooms as are 

♦ On Nov. 25, 1904 the fifth g-aliery freely hung had 48 pictures, nearly all small. Its running 
feet of wall 1.123) is just in excess of our 34 foot galleries (120). 

47 



shown on this plan, not more than twenty-four feet wide, and not 
less than thirty- two feet deep unless they are square. The ob- 
long rooms should have a low coved ceiling, both for the assist- 
ance it gives in carrying the light and because one can thus 
get the height necessary for light without an appearance of 
height out of proportion to the walls. I advise sixteen feet to 
the spring, twenty-two feet to the crown. (See Fig. 22.) The 
square rooms might very well have a flat ceiling at a height of 
about sixteen feet or seventeen feet. The window should be 
set in a thick wall, four feet over all I should say, giving a wide 
splay, for the double purpose of reflecting the light and keeping 
the glass well back from the wall surface and more out of sight 
on entering. 

The Circuits, As already indicated in the first portion of this 
teport there will be three circuits in the painting department, 
one to the west the other to the east, and the central group. 

The western circuit will begin with the southern side-lit galler- 
ies. The entrance to this series is through a door on the centre 
of the lobby and consequently not close to the window wall. As 
the exit is close to the wall there is here an opportunity to hang, 
in an admirable light, probably the best in the room, an impor- 
tant picture immediately opposite the door. From this point on^ 
the other side-lit galleries are approached through doors close to 
the window wall, which seems to me, on the whole, the most 
favourable place for the door. The exit from the third room is 
removed from the position close to the window wall thus giving 
in the third gallery an opportunity for a good picture on the vista 
obtained through the other two galleries, and an entrance to the 
fourth gallery (an oblong top-lit room) on the centre of its short 
dimension. (P. 50 Foreign Report). From this point the visitor 
might return through the adjacent top-lit gallery and the series of 
square top-lit rooms to the central knot, or descending six steps 
might reach the series of western side-lit galleries which complete 
the whole circuit. We have here in the wing a series of side-lit 
rooms, two square ones with an octagon between, and at the end 
a side-lit gallery of unusually large dimensions. We have not 
as yet had an opportunity of testing side light for a room of this 
size, but from such tests as have been made and from our expe- 
rience abroad I believe it is perfectly feasible. (P. 29 Seq. and 



48 



Pp 41-42, Foreign Report). The western galleries include in 
their midst the utility room which can serve for the storage of 
pictures when galleries are being rearranged. The oblong top- 
lit gallery, and the two square top-lit galleries referred to com- 
plete this circuit. The entrance to this group is in a corner 
of the oblong gallery then there is a vista the full length through 
central doorways and an exit from the last gallery through doors 
flanking the centre. 

The second circuit or group is that which centres on the forty 
foot square gallery. If this group comprises the whole of the 
American painters it will require not only the 'central gallery 
and some space in the corridors surrounding it, but also some 
space in the adjoining top-lit galleries, it will however be sub- 
stantially a group by itself. The eastern circuit is similar to 
that on the west except that the two oblong galleries are repre- 
sented here by two square galleries, and the two square galleries 
represented by one long gallery; and except that the wing con- 
tains only two galleries for exhibition, one top-lit and the other 
side-lit. These are so placed, convenient to the lift and to the 
staircase, as to make them suitable for temporary exhibition. 
The studio for the keeper, and the room for reference series com- 
pletes this wing. (Fig. 26). The lobbies surrounding the 




Fig. 26. 

central gallery are not intended primarily as exhibition galleries, 
although there will undoubtedly be many places admirably suited 
for the display of pictures. Primarily, however, they will be for 
such objects as would^'naturally belong with the group of paint- 
ings located here, and to make a pleasant break between the long 
series of picture galleries. The central room on the Park has 
windows over-looking the garden. 



49 



Hanging Capacity, On the basis of hanging capacity already 
described, the complete circuit of galleries top and side-lit, in- 
cluding both wings, will hang 660 pictures. These will be 
divided as 400 in top-lit rooms, and 260 in side-lit. These 
rooms are intended solely for oil paintings, as water colours and 
drawings are provided for elsewhere. Of pictures suitable to 
hang here we have at present 350. 

Installation^ Colour^ etc. In the installation of the pictures, 
walls with a roughened surface and oil coloured, with over- 
glazes, generally quiet in colour and light in tone are advised. 
A gallery which has the minimum of light must make the most 
of it and cannot afford light- absorbing colours on the walls.* 

The minimum of light is desirable both for the economy in 
reducing glass areas and the greater ease of managing tem- 
perature in winter and summer, and, in top-lit galleries, for 
the avoidance of reflection. The material of walls should be 
such as to make it possible to nail directly into the wall — all 
other methods of hanging being unsightly. The floors should 
be dark and not polished highly, so as to eliminate reflection. 
I would suggest wood block flooring, as the best tone and sur- 
face, and the pleasantest under foot. The ceilings should be 
light in tone and I believe that in all cases a coved or vaulted 
ceiling will be the most satisfactory form. With the precautions 
to be taken to exclude dust and dirt it is hoped that glazing 
may be considered unnecessary, and that barriers may be omit- 
ted except possibly for free days. 

Having in view the weariness of many large picture galleries 
abroad and the delight with which one welcomed such a break 
as the loggia of the Cassel galleries, and such a pleasant sense 
of variety as is given by the furniture of the Wallace collection, 
it is suggested that rooms and lobbies should be arranged for an 
outlook on the Park, the chief of these being the space immedi- 
ately north of the central gallery, and that objects of interest 
related in some way to the paintings should be both in the 
lobbies and in the galleries themselves. (See Fig. 26.) 

* The Museum has conducted a series of experiments in regard to lighting which should 
form the subject of a special report. This accounts for the slight reference here to this most 
important matter — the one which so largely occupied the attention of the commission abroad. 
With the extreme variations of our climate, it seems to me desirable that the glass area 
whether in skylights or windows should be kept at the minimums which will give good light 
during the greater part of the year, even if this be at the expense of some few dark days in 
winter. In this report all the dimensions advised for skylights, ceiling lights or windows are 
based on my personal observations abroad (Section IV Foreign Report) and in the experi- 
ment building, and are not therefor of value except as expressing an individual opinion. 

50 



Temperature. Following the example of the best European 
museums and our own experience, sixty degrees is suggested 
as the winter temperature, and it is equally necessary that ex- 
cessive heat in summer should be avoided. The humidity, 
more especially in winter, must be governed, which we believe 
can readily be done so as to have the relative humidity at least 
as high as fifty per cent. 



Library. 

The Library is to occupy the central portion of the floor below 
the paintings. This department at present is much cramped 
and it is hoped that it may be much enlarged and much more 
useful in the new building. With this in view it is placed 
centrally, accessible, during the day, from the main corridor, 
(going down from grade 32.5 to grade 20) and, in the evening, 
from a special entrance off the Park. The space at our disposal 
under the painting block enables us to build a library which will 
certainly be ample for a great many years. Where our present 
reading room, which included draughting as well, has but 672 
square feet the new reading room will be 2020 square feet, and 
there will be in addition room for draughting in the photograph 
stack room. The present book stack accommodation is for about 
6,000 books and pamphlets, and the proposed will take 13,000 
volumes (small books) in one tier. 

Adjoining the library is the photographic stack room and ac- 
commodation for draughting tables. The large gallery, which 
forms the approach from the central corridor to the library is 
devoted to the exhibition of photographs. 



Prints, 

Beyond the library to the east is the department for prints. 
This can be approached either from the staircase coming down 
from the paintings, or through the photograph exhibition lobby. 
It will consist of a series of exhibition rooms arranged with an 
exposure north-east or north-west to avoid sunlight, and the 
technical room to the south, which will be either the first or last 



51 



of the series according to the direction from which it is ap- 
proached. Both exhibition room, visitors' room and the work 
room should have sunless exposure, and of the two exposurers 
available north-east is slightly preferable. It was impossible, 
however, to get the number of rooms required exclusively on 
this side. All the rooms are side-lit, to which the consensus of 
opinion seems to incline. The principal circuit includes three 
exhibition galleries and the technical room, a fourth gallery is 
off the circuit. The visitors' room and work room are imme- 
diately accessible and close to the circuit, and the group is 
closed with the curator's room and the work room. (Fig. 27.) 




Fig. 27. 



52 



Water Colours. 

The space remaining under the eastern portion of the picture 
block (southern side-lit galleries) is assigned to the water colours 
and drawings. (See p. 23.) In some respedts it would perhaps 
have been desirable to have had these on the same floor with the 
paintings and in closer connection with them, but this space 
seemed the best that was available and is fairly satisfacflory* 
The rooms correspond to the side-lit galleries above except that 
being limited to seventeen feet in height the ceilings will be 
flat. What has been said about those side-lit rooms would 
apply equally to the rooms for water colours and drawings. 



Department of Classical Antiquities. 

General Arrangement. As already noted two principles of 
exhibition have been discussed as applicable to this department, 
but the Museum Committee have not as yet made a decision on 
this point. They have however given instructions to arrange 
space on the ground floor to install complete the collection of 
vases. The original requirements were for two rooms 40x40 
and 40x80, lit from both sides. An attempt has been made to 
give a room of the size of the larger of these two on the ground 
floor. It will readily be seen that to place a block of this descrip- 
tion on a lower story implies the sacrifice of a large area on either 
side of it to insure its ample lighting, and more area to give 
proper approaches; thus is one floor tied by the limitations of an- 
other. (Seep. 19). This is the real difiiculty with this block. 
On the main floor it prevents spreading the central link beyond 
this forty foot width, until the length of the vase room has been 
passed, and this means the separation of the marbles. Otherwise 
the block for Classical Antiquities combines many of the ideals 
previously mentioned. 

The lobby top-lit would provide accommodation for a few 
small marbles such as busts. The first room is intended to ap- 
proximate the method of lighting used in the Belvidere alcoves, — 
high side light, (in this case from the south,) and a small cen- 
tral skylight. The window will have sill at about twelve feet and 
will extend up into the dome. The room is to be thirty- two 



53 



feet square and would have a domed ceiling about sixteen feet 
to the spring and twenty-eight feet to the crown. The larger 
marbles would go in this room. Between this room and the sec- 
ond and third rooms of the marbles will be a peristyle lighted 
from above in which busts and other marbles may be advan- 
tageously placed and where potted plants and perhaps water 
may recall such a court as that of the Casa Vetii at Pompeii. 
This peristyle helps to connect the otherwise separated rooms of 
the marbles. Here, with the second room of the marbles, begins 
the more compact circuit of the Classical Antiquities, compris- 
ing the two rooms beyond the second room of the marbles, the 
loggia, or lobby with low windows, overlooking the Park en- 
trance, a large central room, and a similar series of rooms return- 
ing and finishing with the last room of the marbles. (Fig. 28). 




Fig. 28. 

Disregarding the marbles, the five rooms will give two for bronzes, 
two for terra cottas, and one for coins, gems and glass; or they 
could be used for the three periods into which it has been suggest- 
ed that the Classical department might be divided. In either 
case one room for the marbles might very well come at the ex- 
treme end of the circuit as this would contain those objects 
which chronologically belong in this position. Returning to the 
peristyle, the staircase leading off from this gives directly to the 
great room of the vases on the ground floor. This room can 
also be approached by another staircase at the othervcnd which 
goes down from the lobby and will allow of a return taking the 
complete circle of the ClassicalAntiquities without repeating the 



54 



first link, tlie peristyle and the first room of the marbles. All of 
these rooms with the exception of the first room of the marbles 
and the peristyle will be side-lit rooms, and as most of them 
contain objects of comparatively small scale, I should advise a 
sill not much, if any, higher than seven feet, and perhaps lower. 
Where the height of the sill is in question it seems to me a wise 
policy to put the sill structurally as low as it is likely to be 
needed, calculating to close the lower part of the window if 
desired. 

Accommodation, It is difficult to compare the areas given on 
this plan with the areas asked. Five thousand square feet was 
wanted for marbles eventually and here we have but three rooms 
wholly available, and these have an area of half what is asked 
for; on the other hand, counting the peristyle and the lobbies 
we have more than is asked. On the whole I am convinced 
that we have space enough for all our present marbles and for 
some considerable growth as well. Bronzes, terra cottas, coins, 
gems and glass are amply provided for on the first floor. The 
vase collection intact is on the ground floor, where also is ample 
room for reserve collections, for the curator's room and for lec- 
ture room and library. 

Installation. Returning from the foreign trip I was convinced 
that as far as colour entered into the problem of installing sculp- 
ture it was as injurious to have too much white, as in the 
Braccio Nuovo or the hall of marbles in the Tate gallery, as it 
was to have absorbing and non-refledling back grounds. Mr. 
Wheelright thought the very dark back grounds good in 
Naples. I was on the whole favourably impressed by the dark 
red behind the Venus of Milo in the Louvre * and I thought the 
general dark tone of the Luxembourg walls very dignified and 
impressive. Since then the experiments here have partly per- 
suaded me that a good natural stone of some such depth of colour 
as Caen stone (after it has darkened a little) or some of our own 
buff sandstones or marbles are as dark as is advisable for walls 
or floors, and that only in rare cases and with exceptional 
marbles is a dark back ground permissible. The surface of the 
stone should not be polished, but perfectly dead, especially on 
the floor. The ceilings, which I believe should be of curved 

♦This is of course quite a different matter from dark walls generally. 



55 



form, should be nearly wliite and should have a rough surface. 
I believe that side light from a single source is the only entirely 
reliable method of lighting, and that the curve of a dome or of a 
barrel vault opposite the window will reflect sufiiciently to illu- 
mine even those objects which are near the window wall. 

For objects of the general size of our marbles I do not believe 
in limiting the light to that which is high above the floor, and 
even question whether we can show satisfa(5lorily more than a 
very few objects in the room with the twelve foot sill. With 
objects that are of large scale I believe the most satisfactory re- 
sults can generally be obtained with a sill well raised above the 
floor, but with smaller objects, of the scale of many of those 
which belong in our collection of marbles, there must be light 
from near by and very little if any above the ordinary eye level. 
It is for this reason that I so strongly advise a sill which struc- 
turally is low. Single side light is advised because nothing that 
we saw abroad led us to think well of double side light, whether 
high or low, and again our experiments carried on here have 
shown no other conditions to be quite as good as those with side 
light from a single source. lyight from two sides unless under 
thorough control and constantly modified according to the time 
of day is unsatisfac5lory; and top light except for very large 
spaces and with a large number of objects is by no means satis- 
factory. Even under these conditions no single object in such a 
large gallery appears to be so well lighted as objects which are 
illuminated from a window. This matter is treated at consider- 
able length in the foreign report and I see no reason to withdraw 
from the conclusion, to which the evidence there given seemed 
to point. (P. 33 seq. Foreign Report.) 



56 



The Department of Japanese and Chinese Art. 

The Store. The real heart of the Japanese department is the 
Storage room. Here will be filed, as it were for ready reference, 
the great bulk of the paintings and screens and many of the 
small objects. This must evidently occupy a central position 
touching as many of the galleries as possible and placed on the 
same level as the main exhibition floor for convenience of hand- 
ling. As the area necessary to take all the material is very large, 
it is planned to supplement what is actually necessary for the 
larger objects and those that should not be carried up and down, 
by a second story, a low mezzarine above one of the galleries of 
lower stud. As the storage room will be used for the study and 
examination of objects, a certain amount of floor space is left clear 
where Kakemonos can be rolled out on mats, and these portions 
of the room have windows opening on the court, to permit of 
more careful study than would be possible under the top light 
planned for the room generally. (Fig. 29). 




The Circuits. The complete circuit for the public will encircle , 
this storage room, the shorter circuit will return before reaching 
it, going through the garden from the first picture gallery and 
returning through porcelains, embroideries and the minor arts. 
The complete circuit would take two more galleries for paintings, 
the Prints and selected Chinese and Japanese pottery. Thus 
these circuits approximate very closely the ideals, a short circuit 
embracing all that is most interesting and a longer circuit for 
those who are more advanced, (cf. Fig. 7.) 

It is proposed to exhibit the material under groups arranged 
as Sculpture, Paintings, Prints, Pottery, Porcelains and the 
Industrial Arts. The embroidery and textiles being distributed 
with the last two. 

Dimensions and Lighting . For the sculpture, which will in- 
clude carving in wood and stone and the larger metal objects, 
one large room with high side light from both sides is provided. 
It is not supposed that any great abundance of light will be 
required in this room and that this light limited to an area so 
near the ceiling will approximate top light for objects that are 
on the floor. Both floor and wall space will be occupied in this 
room, which will be the first of the group and may well be an 
effedlive introdudlion to the department. The galleries for paint- 
ings are shown as one side-lit and one top-lit room. Both paintings 
and screens are planned to go in these rooms, although it has 
been frequently suggested that a division of these might be de- 
sirable. The Kakemonos would be confined to the walls where 
they would be displayed in shallow cases; the screens, if displayed 
flat in the usual way, would also be on the walls, but if shown in 
floor cases and arranged angling as they would stand when bal- 
ancing on the floor, they might occupy both floor and wall space. 
If this latter is not done it would appear to be more economical 
of wall space to divide the larger side-lit room into two about 
26x34 each, and thus give more available wall space. In any 
case these sculpture and painting rooms should have fiat ceilings 
which are more in harmony with Japanese architectural preced- 
ents than the vault or cove. The sculpture room 46 x 50 might 
have a stud of 25 or 30 feet. The side-lit room of paintings 
would have windows about ten feet from the floor to allow cases 
under and ceilings about twenty-four feet high or less if the space 



58 



is divided into two rooms. The top-lit room would be more en 
the principle of the I^uxembourg; wide opening, the light rathet 
low, about twenty one feet from floor and much diffused. Both 
Kakemonos and screens are low and would therefore be limited 
to a line considerably below the usual top line in a picture gal- 
lery of this dimension (34 feet wide) and the width of ceiling 
light would not therefore be open to the usual objection of reflec- 
tion on the upper part of the wall. With this wide opening and 
the large amounts of light admitted, the walls might very well 
be fairly dark in tone, and of course quite dull and flat so as not 
to catch reflections. 

The temporary exhibition gallery (the third picture gallery, 
on the plan) if judged solely by its size would be better lighted 
by side light, but it might on occasion be filled with objecfls 
that would be better shown under top light and it is therefore 
so arranged that either light is available. This variety of light 
is particularly desirable for a room of this character, which is 
for various purposes. The prints occupy the Eastern exposure, 
and will be in a room of low stud (twelve feet) and side-lit. 
The prints in shallow cases at right angles to the light both 
on window wall and wall opposite the windows. 

The Morse collection of pottery must be left unbroken on ac- 
count of its present arrangement and the catalogue. It was 
considered however too technical an exhibit and too bulky to be 
in the public circuit on the first floor and has been given the 
whole of the south frontage on the ground floor. From this 
collection, however, examples may be from time to time with- 
drawn and shown with the Chinese pottery on the first floor. 

The selected porcelains, chiefly Chinese, will be in the next 
room on the same floor and both these rooms may contain em- 
broideries and textiles, and will be side-lit at such height as may 
be desired. On account of the variety of colour of the objects 
which are displayed in these various rooms, the colour of the 
walls, and of the ceiling as well, will be best determined by 
experiments on the spot. 

The remaining rooms will contain the miscellaneous colledlion 
of smaller objects, bronzes, lacquers, and objects in ivory and 
metal. These should be in rooms of moderate height, probably 
not over sixteen feet or seventeen feet. All the early studies 



59 



contemplated a separate room, carefully shut off, for the lacquers 
and other objects for whose preservation an even temperature 
and hygrometric conditions are necessary. With the probability 
that these conditions can be definitely assured in any room the 
necessity of separation disappears. Near these should be the 
typical interiors finished and set as Japanese rooms, not to be 
entered by the public but merely looked into. These rooms 
requiring Japanese windows can best be handled facing on the 
court. This latter will be the passage to the Pottery on the 
ground floor, the means of making a short circuit, and a place 
where possibly something of Japanese gardening and the archi- 
tectural features conne<5led therewith might be shown. 

Curators^ Rooms, The keeper of the Pottery and the Curator 
of the department will have their offices on the ground floor, the 
former with a small room for storage of pots, the latter with the 
departmental library and class-room, and stairs giving access to 
the store room above. These series of study rooms will be ac- 
cessible also from a staircase between the Classical Department 
and the Japanese Department and neither curators nor students 
will be dependent on the more circuitous approach. In the space 
already referred to, above the prints, there will be in addition to 
the extra storage space, a small room for mending. 



60 



Exemplification of the Ideals. This department, perhaps more 
than any other, fulfils the ideals that have been laid dowtf for 
the Museum; probably this is the case because the collection ' is 
more complete than any other. The department is, first, prac- 
tically all on one floor; second, it is clearly separated from aH 
other departments, occupies a block, and is a complete museum 
by itself; third, the principle of selection is exemplified in all its 
departments exhibition, storage, administration. It is devel- 
oped so as to give a short and interesting circuit for the public, 
and a longer and more technical circuit for the student, both 
centering about the great central reserved collection, the latter 
placed where it is most available for ready reference, and for 
use in distributing to the various exhibition galleries; and a 
position is given for its administration rooms that is quiet, re- 
tired and yet accessible. 



6i 



The Department of Egyptian Art. 

tjntil the policy of the Museum in regard to this department 
is settled it is difficult to do more than hazard a guess as to what 
the complete development should be in the future. The plan 
shows a somewhat flexible group of galleries of various sizes 
so arranged as to make it possible to have a small department 
subdivided into the three divisions of main circuit, reference 
series and administration, or a large department similarly 
divided, in both cases accommodated complete on one floor. 
(Fig. 30.) 



O \0 ZO 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 lOO FT, 




Fig. 30. 

The first circuit would comprise the two galleries flanking 
the entrance, the big central gallery, and the small galleries on 
either side of it. The galleries immediately beyond and to the 
west would be then the study series and the curator's rooms. 
If the department develops very rapidly in size it is readily seen 
that the two galleries referred to can be thrown into the ad- 
joining exhibition circuit, and the reference series and curator's 
rooms be located still further to the west. 



62 



The Department of Western Art. 

This department would include the collection of textiles and 
ceramics, the Japanese and Chinese portion of this collection 
being withdrawn for exhibition in that department. It will also 
include tapestries and the various miscellaneous collections, to 
accommodate which the Director estimated that some six gal- 
leries, averaging 32x40, would be needed. The block which 
balances Japan is an adaptable one for a miscellaneous collection 
of objects such as is included in this department. (Fig. 31.) 




Fig. 31. 

The outer perimeter of galleries surrounding the central court 
could be available for a series of rooms, the circuit of which 
could be readily interrupted at any point by returning on the 
central court, while the central court itself could include within 
it such interiors as were offered to us in Zurich. Window and 
door openings would not, in this position, hamper our exterior. 
The central court might serve admirably for such temporary 
exhibitions as that we saw going on in the Kunstgewerbe, 
Berlin, where manufacturers were giving an exhibition of 
modern porcelains. 

From this court stairs would lead down to the outer perimeter 
of galleries on the ground floor, which with excellent light and 



63 



14 foot stud would be available not only for reference series, and 
the students' and the curator's rooms, but also for additional 
exhibition galleries. 

The Collection of Casts. 

By a vote of the Museum Committee it was ordered that 
accommodation be shown on the drawings for the installation of 
the present collection of casts. Such permanent installation is 
shown on the ground floor of the department of Egyptian Art 
and the series of rooms there shown will comprise Egypt, Pre- 
historic, Archaic, Olympian, Polykleiton, Parthenon, Fourth & 
Fifth Centuries, Hellenistic, corridor of busts, great hall of casts, 
the Roman room, French and German Renaissance, Miscellane- 
ous collection, and the last gallery for modern work. 

This department will be approached through the central knot 
from the lobby of the Egyptian department, visitors ordinarily 
taking the ground floor circuit and returning to the point of 
departure. 

An Unassigned Department. 

It has been frequently suggested that the plans should not be 
so definitely outlined as to preclude the establishment in the fu- 
ture of some new department in addition to the six which have 
been considered. 

With the graphic arts (library, photographs and prints) con- 
centrated in the eastern half of the ground floor of the picture 
block, the western half corresponding is practically left free. 
Such a collection as the New England historical collection would 
for example, find excellent quarters in such a space as this. In 
any case we have here a series of admirable galleries, side light- 
ed, so arranged that those in the extreme end of the western wing 
could readily be detached from the circuit, and certain rooms 
adjoining the library block would be very convenient and avail- 
able for use as lecture rooms. The galleries in the central por^ 
tion have a height of seventeen feet and those in the wing a 
height of fourteen feet. As already noted in the print depart- 
ment, the central opening in the garden fa9ade is treated as a 
pair of doors opening on the terrace, so that from two points the 
pisiblic will have access to the enclosed garden. 



64 



THE ADMINISTRATION AND EDUCATIONAL 

GROUP. 

Administration. 

Offices. The o^ces of the administration include those of the 
Director, Assistant Director, Secretary and the clerical force, 
and rooms for the meetings of the Committees and the Trustees. 
These must be easy to find from the main entrance, and yet they 
seem better located outside of the exhibition block. The loca- 
tion assigned has direct approach both from the main lobby and 
from the street and the former is made clear by the location of 
an information bureau in the lobby. The door directly from 
Huntington Avenue can be used by everyone having business 
with the administration only, and can be left open without a 
porter provided the connedlion with the Museum itself is com- 
pletely controlled at one point. This, the plan provides for. 
(Fig. 32.) 




O 10 20 30 4C 50 60 70 eo 90 lOO FT, 



Fig. 32. 



65 




CO 
CO 

6 

M 



Service. Immediately below these offices will be the service 
administration. This centers around the superintendent's office. 
He will control everyone who enters the museum, and the 
teams which enter the delivery courtyard. 

He has his larger outer, and a small inner office ; and inde- 
pendent quarters are provided for the various people under his 
control, custodians, porters, women cleaners. Here also is the 
large general supply room for the whole museum, which is 
under his control. (Fig. 33.) 

Delivery to the Museum is controlled by gates between the 
Egyptian and the Western block, and can further be controlled 
by gates on the line of the proposed driveway. From the deliv- 
ery court material is unloaded directly into the outer unpacking 
room, connected with which is the inner unpacking room and 
storage for boxes, and from which service corridors lead direct 
to the southern lifts, the northern lifts being reached through 
the central corridor and the ground floor of the painting block. 
(Fig. 34.) 




Fig. 34. 



67 



As already mentioned, the difference between tlie grade of the 
court and the unpacking room is three feet six inches. Every ^ 
thing else on the ground floor is on a level with the exception of 
the vase room in the Classical Antiquities, and the department 
of casts. 

It is proposed to locate the necessary carpenter's and painter's 
shops under the restaurant on the other side of the drive, the 
grade of which can be so arranged as to make service between 
the museum and this space convenient, and it seems desirable to 
h ive work of this nature outside the limits of the exhibition block. 

Power and Heat. 

The power house for heat and light is placed upon the ex- 
treme western limit of the central axis of our block. The 
general system of heat proposed is to take direct steam to each 
department, use it in heating a primary coil, then use it to heat 
water in a drum and depend on hot water for such secondary 
heaters as are required in the ducts and for such direct heat as 
may be wanted in the galleries. 

Le<5ture and Exhibition Halls. 

No definite decision has yet been reached as to whether it is 
essential or even desirable that the Museum should own and con- 
trol a large lecture hall, but for such a hall space has been 
reserved in the triangle between Museum Street, the proposed 
driveway, and our service road. 

In the same space could be a large exhibition hall approxi- 
mating the size of Copley Hall and having two or more small 
side-lit rooms connected therewith. 

These halls for exhibitions and lectures would have adjoining 
lobbies opening on the proposed driveway and have covered 
connection from the museum proper and the school. 

School. 

The school not being actually connected with the Museum, 
has had sufiicient study to assure us that proper accommodation 
can be given in close proximity to the Museum, even if not 
strudlurally a part of it. This would appear really to be better 
than any closer union, and a position to the west of the proposed 
driveway leaves the exhibition block more free. 



68 



Restaurant. 

The restaurant for use of museum, both officials and visitors, 
and the school, is shown as part of the school block, accessible 
from the museum by a covered connection, having its kitchen 
service from the service road. 



69 



NOTE ON THE COMPLETE PLANS AS 
PRESENTED. 

There remains only to present the complete plans, the various 
parts of which have been explained. Notwithstanding the time 
and study that has gone into these plans, they cannot be con- 
sidered as in any way a final solution of this most complicated 
problem. They are however fairly illustrative of the ideals and 
aims that were laid down in the first part of this report. 

The Museum as planned is essentially a one story museum, 
although this story is sufficiently raised above the grade outside 
to give an amply lighted ground floor, and although this ground 
floor is utilized to a considerable extent as exhibition area. 

The departments have been given isolation. None is ap- 
proached through another, each is independent and complete in 
itself. 

Each department is so planned as to make it possible to have 
a small group of galleries for carefully selected exhibits, other 
space for collections for the student and the connoisseur, and 
ample accommodation for the administration of each department. 

The exhibition block as a whole is so arranged that the visitor 
may go direct to any department or may go from one group of 
exhibition galleries to another with convenience and no needless 
steps. 

Growth has been provided for both in the departments them- 
selves and also in the unassigned areas. 

The blocks have been so arranged as to insure the greatest 
amount of unobstrudled light for all the galleries, and the sur- 
roundings and courts have been planned so as to give the 
buildings a fit setting and to provide in gardens and courts that 
outside interest which we found so valuable in the examples 
studied abroad. 

The complete plans of the first floor and ground floor are 
presented here. (Fig. 35 ist floor- Fig. 36 ground floor). 



70 



NOTE ON THE ELEVATIONS. 

It was not until March 1905, after more than two years of study 
on the plans, that any consideration was given to the chara<5ler 
or design of the exterior. I had not myself contemplated that 
this phase of the problem was to be studied at all by me ex- 
cept in so far as an architedt involuntarily sees his construction 
and his exterior as a logical concomitant of a plan. 

In March however the committee expressed a desire to see 
sketches of the exterior, and some drawings were submitted to 
the committee, showing a stone exterior on the basis of the 
plans shown in Figs. 35, 36. I^ater, an opportunity being given 
to modify the plan, I replaced the colonnade which had been 
previously abandoned, but which I believe to be the most prac- 
tical arrangement for the fore-court, giving a covered approach 
from the sidewalk for bad weather, and making a barrier be- 
tween the museum and what will be a crowded thoroughfare. 
This is arranged as shown in Fig. 14 (p. 32). All the earlier 
studies showed this colonnade and abroad many of the museum 
authorities whose opinion we valued singled out this feature for 
approval as happily combining publicity and retirement. 

I venture also to suggCvSt that the economy of using red brick 
ashlar for the exterior might allow us without undue extrava- 
gance to use a plain stone ashlar throughout the courts where 
the elimination of colour is desirable. 

As stated in the notes on the picture galleries (p. 45) I believe 
a flat roof, finished in paving tile, to be the most practical and 
durable, and this consideration is a governing factor in the de- 
sign. 

The various practical considerations of the plan, the fixed 
position and size of windows, the heights of stories and the 
sections through the various galleries have possibly governed 
the exterior too rigidly; but in a building for so definite a pur- 
pose, with needs so imperative, I believe that the exigences of 
the interior should govern the shell. 

(Fig. 37 South Kiev., Fig. 38 Kast Kiev., Fig. 39 North Kiev. 
Fig, 40 Sections). 



71 



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MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, :: 

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REPORT 

ON 

PLANS PRESENTED TO THE 

BUILDING COMMITTEE. 



<!«wss»rai 



BY 

R. CI.IPSTON STURGIS. 
1905. 



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